Warming up the old “functional vs. project skills” chestnut

Sreejith at PM Karma takes a crack at resolving the debate about whether functional or project management skills are more important when leading initiatives.  I’ll let you agree or disagree with his take directly on his post (here).

My take is that this topic is one where our friend — the much-maligned PMBOK Guide — is perfectly sound.  The discussion on pages 12-15 of the 3rd Edition (Section 1.5: Areas of Expertise) lays out the basic elements that the project management team must understand and use:

  • The project management body of knowledge (please note that Figure 1-2 on page 13 of the 3rd edition clearly depicts that the PMBOK Guide is a subset of the PMBOK itself).
  • Application area knowledge, standards, and regulations.
  • Understanding the project environment.
  • General management knowledge and skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.

If you’re looking to ensure that your project team has all the requisite skills and competencies, you could do worse that building a simple checklist derived from Section 1.5 of the 3rd Edition.  And yes, it is the project team, not the project manager.

PMOs at Law Firms

I found this post a week or so ago; it promotes the establishment of PMOs in law firms (here).  There had been some discussion of PMOs in professional firms at a recent conference — some medical and architect practices are doing it as well — but this was the first I had seen it while tag surfing.  Apparently my correspondents at PM Hut have a series on PMOs and law firms as well (here).

Finally, the WordPress related post feature pointed me to a post on KM at law firms (here) which I’ll have to check out when I’m back on-line.

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